Meet the Student Leadership Committee

September 13, 2019 by Todd Christman

Hello! My name is Madelyne “Midge” Peterson, and I’m currently serving as the chair of the Student Leadership Committee (SLC). I am a student in the second year of my master’s degree in athletic training at the University of Montana. This is my third year serving on the committee. Last year I represented District Ten as chair-elect, and the year before I shadowed the District Ten representative.

Our committee consists of 10 representatives, one from each district; we are all athletic training students. The SLC, under the guidance of our mentors – Michael Goldenberg, MS, ATC, CES; Mary Murray, EdD, ATC; and Jeff Konin, PhD, ATC, PT, FNATA; our board liaison, District Nine Director and NATA Vice President Marisa Brunett, MS, LAT, ATC; and NATA liaison Hannah Hill – conducts many projects throughout the year. The SLC’s focus is the Athletic Training Student Seminar (ATSS), held annually at the NATA Clinical Symposia & AT Expo. Our committee is responsible for choosing the ATSS theme and presentation topics, contacting speakers and organizing the event. In addition to the ATSS, the SLC also plans the NATA Student Reception. That’s not all we do, though; throughout the year, we hold webinars and contests, maintain an interactive social media presence, plus much more!

We are here to provide a voice for all athletic training students across the country, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to your district representative or me with questions, comments, or to get involved. We would love to hear from you! If you’re not doing so already, follow us on social media: FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


Who We Are


Sergio Martín Acuña

District One


Sergio Martín Acuña is from Barcelona, Spain. His favorite clinical rotation so far has been with the football team at Stanford University during their training camp. "I was able to practice and polish all my skills, thanks to the amazing preceptors I had. The bond created with the other students, staff and players made every day motivating and worth the effort,” he said. His dream job is to work as an athletic trainer for the F.C. Barcelona soccer or basketball teams. A fun fact about Sergio: Although he wants to work as an athletic trainer for professional or collegiate soccer, he would like to transition to the physician practice setting and assist with knee and ankle surgeries. 


Sydney Pouliopoulos

District Two


Sydney Pouliopoulos is from Westford, Massachusetts. Her favorite clinical rotation so far has been with the women’s soccer team at Edinboro University. “I was able to work with some incredible athletic trainers and challenge my knowledge from the classroom, as well as learn new skills and other things I didn’t learn in the classroom. It was an amazing first clinical experience,” she said. Her dream job is to work in the NFL. A fun fact about Sydney: She has been to 35 of the 50 states as well as nine countries.


Sophia Lanasa

District Three

TOWSON University

Sophia Lanasa is from Baltimore. Her favorite clinical rotation so far has been with the men’s lacrosse team at Towson University. “It gave me experience working with a successful Division I sports team that won the CAA championships and competed in the NCAA tournament,” she said. Her dream job is to represent Team USA working under the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) as an Olympic Athletic Trainer. A fun fact about Sophia: She has nine siblings with two sisters and seven brothers.


Taylor Novak

District Four

PURDUE University

Taylor Novak is from Las Vegas. Her favorite clinical rotation so far has been with North Montgomery High School near Crawfordsville, Indiana. “This was my first time being able to fully immerse myself with not only a team, but an entire school. I was given the opportunity to work with every fall sport, so I never knew what injury an athlete would have as they walked through the door. And the best part was that I was able to finish the week on the football sidelines.” Her dream job is to work with professional surfing. (Only one more year until it’s in the Olympics!) A fun fact about Taylor: She spent a month in China learning about traditional Chinese medicine including cupping, gua sha, acupuncture and massage techniques.


Erik Arve, DPT, PT, CSCS

District Five


Erik Arve, DPT, PT, CSCS is from Bartlesville, Oklahoma. His favorite clinical rotations so far have been with Union High School and with the Marines at Camp Lejeune. “I was able to work with a multitude of athletes, but primarily with the football team. I appreciate the relationships I was able to build there while working with and learning from the sports medicine team. With the Marines, I got to treat active servicemen and servicewomen in a clinical setting. I was also fortunate to spend time with the All-Marines Wrestling team while they prepared for the U.S. Open.” His dream job is to work in the university setting utilizing both his skills as an athletic trainer and physical therapist. A fun fact about Erik: He is married to Paige Arve and has a son, Axel Arve, and two dogs, Boone and Charley.


Cody Wimpee, LAT

District Six


Cody Wimpee, LAT, is from Rockwall, Texas. Cody’s favorite clinical rotation so far has been with the men’s basketball at UTA. “I was able to assist in many areas as well as traveling to the conference tournament with the team,” he said. His dream job would be to work in the public-service setting with first responders. A fun fact about Cody: He works in custom welding and fabricating in his free time. 


Katherine “Katie” Nelson

District Seven

Northern Arizona University

Katherine “Katie” Nelson is from Tucson, Arizona. Her favorite clinical rotation so far has been with Northern Arizona University Football. “It was my first experience working in Division 1 college football and my preceptors were amazing,” she said. Her dream job is to work in college football so she can learn the most she can, as well as travel around the country with the team. A fun fact about Katie: She is an Irish twin with her younger brother, John.


Caleb Rogers

District Eight


Caleb Rogers is from Ripon, California. His favorite clinical rotation so far has been at Santiago High School in Corona, California. “I thoroughly enjoyed the high school level and observing the relationship that the athletic trainer was able to have with the athletes. Since it was my first graduate-level rotation, I was able to apply all of the knowledge that I had learned up to that point, while also absorbing new material every day. The constant first aid and emergency care made the day interesting, while also being a constant learning experience,” he said. His dream job is to be the owner of his own gym in order to give insight to athletes of all ages in regards to proper training habits from both an athletic training and strength and conditioning perspective. A fun fact about Caleb: He has 11 amazing nieces and nephews. He provided medical mission work while in Uganda, Africa two summers ago. 


Carolyn “Molly” Pearce

District Nine

TROY University

Carolyn “Molly” Pearce is from Pensacola, Florida. Her favorite clinical rotation so far has been at a local high school and with the men’s football and basketball teams at Troy University. “I can’t say I have a favorite rotation, but I have had the pleasure of working at both the high school and collegiate levels. I have worked baseball and basketball at Troy and am currently working with the football team. I have enjoyed every rotation I have been on and learned something new from each!” Her dream job is to work with professional soccer, but she also really enjoys athletic training at the collegiate level. A fun fact about Molly: She goes by Molly because her dad really liked Molly Ringwald when she was born, and the nickname has stuck ever since.


Josh Free

District Ten


Josh Free is from Longview, Washington. His favorite clinical rotation so far has been with the women’s soccer team at WSU. “Soccer gave me a lot of autonomy and forced me to learn fast. It was a small roster team which meant we had closer relationships with the athletes and practice was always at sunrise, which I appreciated as an early riser,” he said. His dream job is to work for the Asterisk Medical Team on the national motocross circuit traveling across the country. A fun fact about Josh: Despite being afraid of heights, he loves to go skydiving.


Madelyne “Midge” Peterson

SLC Chair

University OF MONTANA

Madelyne “Midge” Peterson is from Seattle, Washington. Her favorite clinical rotation so far has been with the women’s volleyball team at the University of Montana, “where I learned to love athletic training,” she said. Her dream job is to work for the Seattle Mariners organization. A fun fact about Midge: She is very interested in manual therapy as a treatment technique and she is focusing her last year in school on refining her skills.

What We Have Coming

We believe the “future starts with students” and it is our goal to equip you with several resources covering a range of topics that you may not see within your programs.  We will host two webinars this year, one in the fall and one in the spring. We’re also going to publish two different blog series that can be found on the NATA Now blog. These blog series are:

The Future Starts with Students, a blog from the SLC to you, the students

Hot Takes, which will dive into some of the newer and trickier topics of athletic training, as well as interviews and open letters from professionals in different settings.

We hope you enjoy these resources. Our social media accounts are always active, and we hope to interact with you, your program, your schools’ athletic training club and other students interested in athletic training. Tag us and ask us questions, and of course, send us your photos to be featured on one of our social media channels. We hope to support you and be a voice for the student population within NATA this year. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at

Best of luck this year!